News No. 90/2011, April 21, 2011
Polen Chakma, an NGO activist, (son of a Milon Shanti Chakma, of village Babuchara Noapara, Dighinala) is one of the victims of the 17 April communal attacks on Jumma people in Ramgarh, Manikchari and Guimara. Initially, it was reported that he was disappeared.
He speaks to chtnews.com about how he escaped from certain death.
I work with an NGO named IDF. My place of work is at one of its branch offices at Guimara.
On 17 April, when I went to Jaliapara on business the Bengali settlers caught and beat me up with sticks and then threw me into the river.
I ran to the other side of the river, but the settlers caught and tortured me again. Later, they locked me inside an empty house.
I had cash Taka 3,000 and a mobile phone set worth Taka 4,000. They took them away.
I heard them talking about killing me. I also saw them talking with army and police personnel.
At that time, I also heard some common Bengal people saying: “The army is helping us, but why the police are not doing so?”
Overhearing the Bengalis talk like this, it seemed to me that it was the army who had instigated the attack.
How I escaped from the clutches of death is indescribable. It is because of my physical strength, wit and faith in Dharma that I have been able to come back.
The moment the settlers tied me I thought of running away. I noticed that of the two doors of the house in which I was locked in, one was locked with keys while the other was shut with the help of a rope.
I decided to escape by opening the second door. I waited till dark, and when it was dark I tore off the rope with my teeth and came out.
The settlers were still near the other door.
I crossed a field and came to a stream. It was about 7pm. This is how I escaped.
The settlers hit me on every part of my body. I blocked some blows with my hands, but when I was hit in the head bloods came out and I fell almost unconscious.
Then the Bengalis struck me on the hands, on the waist and on all over the body.
Now I feel so much pain that it has become difficult for me even to stand up and sit down. And one of my hands is almost crippled.